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Friday, 19 October, 2018

Suarez and Cavani can help Uruguay sink Wales in China Cup final

Defence may not be able to cope

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani
1 of 1

China Cup final
S4C, 12.35pm Monday

Ryan Giggs got off to the perfect start in the Wales hotseat with a 6-0 victory over China on Thursday but he could be taught a lesson by wily Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez in the China Cup final.

Tabarez is the most experienced manager in international football with 173 games under his belt in two spells with Uruguay from to 1988 to 1990 and since 2006.

He has had plenty of success, steering La Celeste to the 2010 World Cup semi-finals and to the Copa America title in 2011, and has a talented enough squad to make a bold impression this summer.

Uruguay qualified for Russia 2018 as runners-up in the tough South American qualifying section and are best-priced 11-10 favourites to finish top of Group A, ahead of hosts Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

With Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in the side they are always going to pose a goal threat.

And they look nice and solid in defence for this clash at the Guangxi Sports Center Stadium in Nanning with Atletico Madrid centre-backs Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin reforming a partnership that has looked so solid in La Liga.

Gimenez and Godin will be no strangers to Wales superstar Gareth Bale and if they can shackle the Real Madrid man Uruguay are highly likely to win the game.

Wales narrowly missed out on World Cup qualification and see the China Cup as the start of an important rebuilding phase in the run-up to the inaugural Nations League and Euro 2020 qualifying.

Giggs has some promising young players coming through and might be the right man to help develop Liverpool wingers Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn, who could be stars of the future.

But the Dragons are still heavily reliant on Bale, who scored a hat-trick in a 62-minute appearance against China.

Their back three of Ashley Williams, James Chester and Ben Davies were barely tested in the first game and they might not be properly prepared for the much higher class of opposition they face in the final.

Suarez and Cavani were both on target as Uruguay cruised to a 2-0 victory over Czech Republic on Friday, increasing their international tallies to 50 and 41, and look probable matchwinners for the South Americans, who are an excellent value bet.

Recommendation
Uruguay
2pts 21-20 Hills

Match odds

Team news
Wales
Joe Ledley, Neil Taylor, Ethan Ampadu and Tom Lawrence withdrew from the squad before the match against China.

Uruguay
Martin Caceres pulled out of the squad with an injury and Abel Hernandez was omitted having only just returned from a long-term layoff.

Key stat
Uruguay have lost just one of their last seven matches.


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Uruguay have lost just one of their last seven matches
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